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Keighley shopping crime scheme is to be extended
A trailblazing scheme banning thieves and rowdies from Keighley shops could be expanded across the district.
The town centre exclusion zone will be held up as “best practice” when agencies crack down on problems in other shopping areas.
Town centre bosses hope to learn from the success of the Keighley scheme in bringing together police, businesses and Bradford Council.
More than 60 traders across Keighley town centre have now signed up to bar named individuals from their shops.
The number of people on the watchlist – including shoplifters and persistent troublemakers – has almost doubled to 59 over the past three months.
One major Keighley store is understood to have seen a 50 per cent drop in shoplifting during the Christmas period. The scheme, which began in the Airedale Shopping Centre and Keighley Market, was recently expanded to the town’s supermarkets.
Petrol stations are also looking at how to adapt the scheme to tackle the growing problem of customers driving off without paying.
The exclusion zone, spearheaded by Keighley Town Centre Association and the Neighbourhood Policing Team, attracted 30 businesses when it was first announced last June.
By Christmas 30 people had been barred from shops, with police pursuing anti-social behaviour orders against prolific offenders who flouted the ban. Steve Seymour, chairman of the association and manager of the Airedale centre, was very pleased with how the exclusion zone had taken off.
He said: “It’s a scheme that can be put in any town or city to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. Most shopping centres have exclusion schemes, but this one joins up all the dots about what businesses are doing.”
Mr Seymour said businesses joining the scheme could sign an agreement that was legally enforceable.
District councillor Andrew Mallinson, a member of the association, described the possibility of the exclusion zone expanding across the district as fantastic news.
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